For three decades I have observed the biggest mistakes buyers make, and not just a few buyers but hundreds of buyers. These are mistakes buyers make every week somewhere in the U.S., and they make them every month, year after year. And these are mistakes buyers make in Sequim and Port Angeles, too.
What are the Mistakes Buyers Make?
- Paying too much for their home.
- Hiring an out-of-town loan officer (with exceptions).
- Hiring the wrong real estate agent.
- Not acting on good advice.
Ninety-five percent of all buyer mistakes come from these four mistakes buyers make. Like a successful military career, the key to buying your retirement home is not making a major mistake.
Mistakes Buyers Make – Paying Too Much
I know a buyer who paid $150,000 more than the fair market value of the home. I know of another buyer who overpaid by about $75,000, and another $20,000. It happens. For a buyer from out of town who doesn’t know the local market, this can be a costly mistake.
Hiring an out of town mortgage broker is asking for trouble, but many buyers simply don’t know the pitfalls of not hiring a local lender. For too many long distance mortgage brokers, you are not a priority, and there’s little accountability for someone who has an office somewhere far away. I’ve seen incompetence, gross negligence, and a careless disregard for customer service by long distance mortgage brokers. A closing can be delayed, and if it gets delayed more than once because the lender cannot get his act together, the seller may terminate the transaction and sell the property to someone else.
There are notable exceptions to this rule. I worked with a client’s mortgage broker from Seattle recently, and she was a true professional who got the job done on schedule, despite several challenges.
Hiring the wrong real estate agent can be a disaster. Everyone knows there are good real estate agents, great real estate agents, and lousy real estate agents. What many buyers don’t know is how to discern the difference when they all look good, talk nice, and smell the same. Hiring the wrong real estate agent can result in a multitude of additional mistakes.
Not taking solid advice from a trusted professional who has your best interests in mind is another trap for the uncertain or the arrogant. Discernment is the key to knowing if you can trust the professionals involved in your real estate transaction. Some people have a problem trusting anyone and can’t get past the baggage that hinders their ability to heed good advice that is in their best interests.
Mistakes Buyers Make Unnecessary
A smart buyer finds a smart lender and a smart real estate agent. A trustworthy agent can help hire the right escrow and title companies, the right home inspector, the right well and septic inspectors, and so on. Then a smart buyer listens to good counsel and makes wise choices. But more than anything else, a smart buyer does not make the biggest mistakes buyers make all the time.
Last Updated on September 19, 2019 by Chuck Marunde
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